Throughout the last several months city representatives have explained and changed the proposed Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Program (LERTA) and now residents are continuing to speak out.
“Many people are for LERTA, but also want the LERTA to include the people as well,” said Kathy Schaaf, Erie City Councilwoman.
One person further explained how she believes that in order to move forward with this there needs to be something implemented for the local residents. “Right now Erie is in a time where it can bargain. I’m not saying that we need to extort anyone, but I am just saying if you want to have a 100 percent tax free status for ten years, then you need to give something to the community,” said Jasmine Flores, Erie City Resident.
Another resident stated that not only would the LERTA help construction projects, but also assist home owners who are looking to make new additions. “We want to add on a garage and a powder room, if we added those on I have no idea where our taxes would go from there. I think many people would benefit from these projects, we just need to bring new life into the city,” said Kathy Boetger, Erie Resident.
Members from the three taxing authorities were present Wednesday to take note of what the people had to say. “At this point we are really going to let the City and County take the lead. Economic development is really in their house, so we will be interested to see what comes out of Thursday’s study session and hoping to take that up at a school board meeting very soon,” said Brian Polito, Superintendent of Erie Public Schools.
LERTA must be approved by Erie City Council, Erie County Council and the Erie School Board.
Thursday evening Erie City Council has scheduled a study session with Mayor Joe Schemeber in regards to LERTA. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 at City Council chambers.